Solar Forward

Solar Forward, an initiative of Himalayan Innovations provides affordable, portable and durable off-the-grid energy solutions to rural enterprises in Nepal via an integrated Pay-As-You-Go model.

By

Himalayan Innovations

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Social causes

Beneficiaries

SDGs covered

Endorsed by

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Market of Implementation

  • Nepal

Problem

Over one billion people across the world experience energy poverty, including rural Nepal. In Nepal, existing government and private sector initiatives on rural electrification face challenges primarily in quality control and post-installation management. Rural enterprises use more costly and carbon-emitting sources like firewood and kerosene due to irregular electricity supply. The government subsidy is not adequate for growing electricity needs of businesses. The market is flooded by cheaper products with retailers focusing only on one time sale. Hence, a cross-sectoral intervention is needed to solve energy issues of rural Nepal, a user-centric design solution that involves innovative product design creating affordable and quality solar power products and service design innovation improving ease of usage with support from non-profit institutions. Rural Nepal needs a solution that can address the challenge of lack of regular electricity supply to conduct their businesses effectively.

Solution

Solar Forward is our social initiative that promotes our integrated Solar Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) model which provides critical energy services to rural micro enterprises in Nepal. We foster use of renewable energy technologies by providing access to critical energy infrastructure and a range of Value-Added Machineries (VAM). Such machineries include efficient renewable energy utilities like induction stoves, solar heater, electric sewing machines, automated handlooms, solar water-pump, internet routers, etc. Studies show that more than 4.5 million households in Nepal still use firewood as energy source. We provide energy efficient utilities that help reduce carbon emission, reduce drudgery and improve respiratory health of women (including the elderly) in rural communities. We also introduced machinery for women-led rural enterprises to automate labour intensive process in sweet making, looming, dairy, mushroom farming, etc, helping curb demand for firewood among rural entrepreneurs. Coupling with the PAYG model, we run Girls4Rurals as a green initiative which involves late adolescent girls to achieve gender inclusive energy usages in rural communities. Girls4Rurals provides vocational solar electrician training to women and encourages them towards climate activism. Members advocate and influence renewable energy in their village and push for municipalities to undertake measures for improving policies around local energy, climate renewable energy technologies.

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